Thursday, November 15, 2012

Put your oxygen masks on first!

So you are on a flight and the stewardess or steward remind you that disaster can strike and so to be prepared, make sure you put on your oxygen mask first and then assist others who may need help. I do not like to think of the possibility that the plane might have difficulties with cabin pressure or air pockets, but the reality that the better prepared you are and the more familiar you are with the steps to take in case of an emergency, the better you can manage if one occurs.
The second part of putting your mask on first, means that you won't pass out trying to help someone, who won't be able to help you, cause they will be focused on getting oxygen for themselves and must rely on others to do so.
We all have a concern for those in need, those who are vulnerable, and need our assistance. Those of us in the helping professions, often give of our time and effort so unselfishly that often folks experience compassion fatigue.
Also, we all are dependent on others, for health care, for services, sometimes we are more vulnerable than we like to admit, and sometimes we notice when those we are dependent on become tired, or burned out, or in need of a break.
Taking care of ourselves does not mean ignoring the needs of others. It means to keep ourselves in the best shape, mentally, spiritually, physically, we can so we can care for others. It is okay to neglect our selves for a short while, but unless we recharge our well being, we will find our efforts do not as effective or as caring as we intended.
I have learned this the hard way when it comes to physical exercise. When I went to my doctor's appointment over the summer, I got a wake up call, if I did not take better care of my body, I would continue to have health issues that would keep me from caring for others because I would be so involved in trying to survive through ailments that would result because of my lifestyle.
So I changed and now I have been practicing a different healthy lifestyle in my exercise and eating patterns, I find I have more energy and a renewed sense of optimism. God loves us and wants us to be healthy, so we can bring health to a hurting world, will you join me in practicing healthy practices so you too can care for a world that needs healing?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cafeteria Workers

Beneath the impatience with the slow service
In the University Cafeteria
Lies a deeper impatience of the workers who
have few rights
Laboring to work, to be respected by their efforts
Despite indifference of their managers.
Who would like to turn them into machines
void of human demands for safety, hassle free environment,
A voice who finds a compassionate listener.

Beneath my disappointment with the room of my hotel not being cleaned
in time for my nap,
Lies a deeper disappointment in these workers who labor long hours
And could be fined at my hint of a problem
By those who could easily investigate allegations and deepen their fairness or not.
Who instead disperse with women who do not play their games.
Disappointing sisters, mother's women with their crass comments, beating them up with their words of cruel teasing.
Beneath my need for power to live a privileged life, as the coal mine diggers who risk their lives for a the profit of globalized businesses, who have an unending hunger for power and profit, investing little back into the communities they rape of resources and labor.
Beneath the status quo their thousands of voices crying out for respect, and fairness, equality and justice but are we willing to listen or go on overwhelmed with the responsibility we have to fight for transformation?
SPM 10-18-12